Wood Comments on Return

If Kerry Wood actually makes it back before the All-Star Game, it will mark the first time all year that the Cubs will have their starting rotation completely intact.

Mark Prior missed the first two months with Achilles tendon and elbow pain, and Wood has been out since May 11 with tendinitis in his right triceps.

Last week, Wood threw 60 pitches to batters in a four-inning simulated game at Wrigley Field and is scheduled to make a rehab start at Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday (July 6). If all goes well, he could pitch Sunday night against St. Louis, a day before the All-Star break.

As always, Wood will remain cautious.

"I think it's a possibility," Wood said of making the start against the Cardinals. "But I don't have a definite answer. If I go out in Iowa and throw 40 pitches in the first inning and don't get out of the second inning, I'll have to do another one (rehab game)."

For now, Greg Maddux, Glendon Rusch and Matt Clement will be the starters in the Cardinals series. But because of Thursday's off day, Clement could pitch Saturday's game on his usual four days' rest. Then the Cubs could skip Rusch and allow Wood to pitch the July 11 game. Rusch is supposed to head to the bullpen when the Cubs activate Wood.

Wood is 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA. He left a game in Los Angeles on May 11 when he experienced the pain in his triceps.

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